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Small scale manufacturing ideas

“I have an idea” through to production

Many people have ideas about new products that can make everyday life easier. Many of these ideas originate with people who themselves encounter recurring inconveniences. These kinds of product ideas can be enormously valuable to a particular target group. A good example is this industrial trolley-and-ladder-in-one. At the table is Rob van Dartel, the inventor of this product.


You told us that this idea has been in your head for years. How did it come about? What problem did you run into?

“I have been working as a kitchen fitter for years, using my ladder and trolley on a daily basis. Because my van is often a considerable distance from the job, I would like to be able to take all my belongings with me in one trip on my trolley. But this becomes difficult if I also have to take a ladder with me in addition to my tools and assembly equipment. So I often have to walk back and forth several times. Furthermore, I often have the problem that I always have to put my ladder and trolley in my overfull van. This is where the idea arose: why not combine the ladder and trolley if I need them every day?”


The production of the Scalamix Hand truck and ladder in one



From that moment on, I started looking for a company that was able to further develop my product but could also produce it.

You didn’t go straight to a development agency but started some things yourself. What did you do to get your ideas concrete?

“The idea has been in my head since 2003, but when I broke my thumb in 2011 and was therefore unable to work I suddenly had time to develop this idea further. I then went and bought a drawing board to put my ideas on drawings. Then I welded together a test model to see how it worked. I did modify this test model twice because I saw that it could be better.”


What was the moment you started looking for a partner who could help you further with the development? How did you end up with Rokatec?

“So after I had worked out my ideas I got to the point where I needed help to develop this further. Initially, I started looking for industry-related companies that might be interested in my product. Unfortunately, this was not a success because of the uncertainty of whether a totally new product would catch on in the market. From that moment on I started looking for a company that was able to further develop and produce my product. I came across the Rokatec stand at the ESEF fair. There I saw several products that were developed and produced by them. This was exactly what I was looking for. A conversation followed and after a short time I submitted the project to Rokatec.”


Rokatec is happy to work with you to make good product ideas feasible. How did the cooperation with Rokatec go? I’m thinking about communication and opportunities to keep my finger on the pulse.

“What struck me is that Rokatec managed the project very professionally. This ensured that I handed it over with confidence. Because several meetings were planned, I quickly gained insight into the whole story and was able to make the right adjustments and choices at the right time. I was also surprised by the clear overview of the various options that were conceived. The advantages and disadvantages were clearly indicated. As a result, I never asked myself afterwards: shouldn’t this have been done differently?”


Rokatec supervised this project from the design stage through to production and delivery. What has Rokatec been able to contribute to your product?

“Because Rokatec took over the entire project as the development agency and supplier, I didn’t have to worry about the feasibility of the design. I knew that the choices presented to me were actually producible. But I also knew that the responsibility for production lay entirely with Rokatec. So my product, within budget, was developed and produced into a professional product, and I was completely unburdened.”



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